Different cultures have different customs when it comes to greeting one another. Find out what a kiss symbolises and why it’s important to take care of your lips.
Kissing: A common greeting
Discover what kisses mean and why they’re often used as a way to greet people.
What does a kiss symbolise?
A simple kiss can express a variety of different emotions and take many different forms. Kissing is universally recognised as a sign of love and affection and is used far and wide to greet friends, acquaintances and new people.
There may be differences in how kisses are interpreted depending on the type of kiss and the part of the face being kissed, but each kiss generally has positive connotations of warmth, love and friendliness.
A romantic kiss between couples
Kissing your partner on the lips to greet them is a common way to show passion and affection.
It’s used widely around the world to display romantic intentions.
A kiss on the cheek to greet friends and family
Kissing on the cheek is common among family and friends. It transmits a feeling of familiarity and support and is a lovely way to show affection to the people you care about the most.
Greetings in different cultures
Find out some different approaches to greeting others in different cultures.
Different greetings around the world
In Micronesia, which consists of thousands of islands in the Pacific Ocean, people commonly raise their eyebrows to greet others. Interestingly, it can also often mean “yes”, so be careful not to look too surprised or it could easily be misinterpreted.
A kiss on both cheeks
It is customary in France to plant a kiss on each cheek when meeting somebody new or familiar as an indication of friendship and affection.
Bowing in greeting
In Japan, it’s usual to greet new people with a short bow. These bows can differ depending on how familiar you are with the person you’re greeting and men may bow in a different way to women.
Pressing your palms together
In India, saying hello to somebody is often accompanied by pressing your palms together over your heart and saying "Namaste". This gesture called the Añjali Mudrā. Thailand have a similar palm gesture called the wai, which often involves taking a short bow at the same time.
Don’t forget lip balm
Whether you’re greeting a friend, family member or partner, ensure that your lips are soft and healthy-looking by applying a Labello lip balm.